Saturday, December 20, 2014

"They call me mellow yellow....." ~ Donovan

December BITE, and saffron was our theme! Saffron was a new ingredient to each of us, and while I can tell you that we all loved the color that saffron brought to our dishes, we all admitted that we were not certain that we could detect a particular flavor that we could say - yes, that's the saffron! The day after, when I reheated leftovers, I think that I detected something a bit earthy that I could not attribute to the other ingredients. I don't know - weigh in - if you have eaten dishes with saffron in it, how would you describe the flavor? The color, in scarlet strands, is truly beautiful!

On to the dishes! Tierney prepared Malpura (Ricotta Pancakes with Cardemom Syrup). She called before dinner in a bit of a panic because the pancakes were sticking to the pan. Word to the wise - if you make this recipe (and I highly recommend it) insert "nonstick" before "skillet" in the instructions! 

A wonderful combination of flavors. You would never know that ricotta was the main ingredient - the texture betrayed nothing that I would attribute to ricotta. The addition of the syrup and pistachios - delish!

Chris made Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto with Parmesan and Saffron). I love risotto and have made it a few times myself. I appreciate the time that goes into it! Chris's dish had a wonderful, cheesy flavor.

I made Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce. Unfortunately, by the time we finished chatting and eating our appetizer, the chicken was pretty dry. I'm not sure how you prevent that if you want to make it ahead of time so that you can enjoy your guests. The saffron- cream sauce helped with the dryness. I might cut back on the shallots next time - perhaps I would taste the saffron! You can see by the photo above though, the color of the chicken and risotto is just lovely!

Here is a shot of the sauce as it was cooking down. Notice those beautiful saffron strands!

And lastly for dessert - Almond/Saffron Cake prepared by Ellen. Wonderful - dense; moist; not too sweet; wonderfully almondy-tasting!

A wonderful holiday meal with the dearest of friends. We won't gather for BITE again until sometime in the spring, when two of us return from wintering in the south. I will miss them!


  1. I also often wondered what saffron tastes like... good question. I just know, that I love it, yet I cannot say why. :) Your dishes all look really yummy!

  2. And I will miss you! Great photos of our dishes using your spectacular chosen ingredient. You always set a magnificent table, and you spoiled us with those delicate, sparkling silver spoons. I cherish mine because its from you. xo